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Wednesday, December 29, 2004

From Open Mind - by Diane Mariechild

Alan and Elizabeth brought back my well-thumbed

copy of Open Mind I had left with them a year ago,

after reading a piece at Aunt Syd's *wake* -

I opened it to this page:


December 29

Why did you vanish

into the empty sky?

Even the fragile snow,

when it falls,

falls in this world.

Izumi Shikibu

Izumi's poem portrays the sorrow of a

mother mourning the death of her daughter.

The pain is palpable. There is no disguise.

There is no attempt to cover the pain

with intellectualization. We can watch to

see where the snow lands as it falls. We

can't see what happens after death. Any thoughts

we have about what might happen are just that,

thoughts. It is only our ability to directly

experience this world, the sorrow and the joy,

that brings us to a space between intellect

and emotion, beyond hope and sorrow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Eighth Night

We had a dramatic last night of Chanukah this year,
with a beautiful menorah Andrew gave us - made by
Wax Poetic, a New Mexico candle company.

We are looking forward to Ariana, Jody and Noah coming for
Christmas - scheduled to arrive on the evening of December 20,
Robert's birthday.

Some thoughts on Chanukah from my friend, Iris Keltz --

Chanukah acknowledges a miracle - when a small band of people,
hopelessly outnumbered, fought against an army possessing
the cutting-edge war technology of their day, and yet they won,
against all odds. in reclaiming their temple, the Macabees
rekindled the oil lamp, symbolizing the eternal light in the
world that can never be extinguished. A small vial of oil found
in the temple was enough to burn for one day, yet miraculously
burned for eight. "An unexplained mystery," my mother used to say.

A parable for modern times, the Chanukah story teaches how a
critical mass of individuals took a stance for their beliefs and
changed the course of history. Those of us who are fearful or
hopeless as we see our country - the strongest military might in
the world - wage, threaten and support war all over the globe,
must take heart from their courage and success...